Since the globalization developing quickly, customers become prefer manufactures and suppliers who provide faster logistics and better services, which cause big issue for suppliers to increase their ability to meet the customers’ expectations. However, they need to enhance their core competence at the same time, in order to focus on one aspect, they turn to outsourcing. According to Blanchard (2010), those well-known brand makers, product-centric companies, and companies that used do rely on their own supply chains are now tending to rely on 3PLs (Third Party Logistics) to do the transportation and similar logistics tasks. 3PLs, at the beginning only focused on one function, are finding their way to broaden their markets to cover several sectors such as transportation/distribution, warehousing/distribution, customer services, IT support, reverse logistics, value-added services and logistics management/consulting including fleet operation, distribution network design, carrier selection/negotiation/routing, facility location analysis/selection/design and inventory management. (Regan and Song, 2000) A 2012 3PL study-press-release (http://3plstudy.com) conducted by Georgia Institute of technology and consulting firm Capgemini with Penn State University, leadership advisory firm, Heidrick &Struggles and global logistics provider, Panalpina, shows the majority of shippers worldwide are increasing their use of 3PL services, with 64 percent of respondents reporting a rise. At the same time, the report indicates an average of 42 percent of total logistics expenditures being spent on outsourcing. At the same time, with the development of information technology. 3PLs are able to better satisfy customers by providing reverse logistics and making forecast to meet customers’ expectation, thus form higher customer loyalty. This research proposal is to discuss the contribution of 3PL services to customer satisfaction and the future of 3PL services.
2. Research Question and Objectives
The research question given below identifies the general topic of research undertaken in this project. The distinctive nature of the project is identified through specific research objectives, which will direct the course of this project. Defining the research objectives will also help establish the limitations of this project due to limited amount of time and resources available. 2.1. Research Question
The contribution of third party logistics services based on information technology to customer and company satisfaction, and the future 3pl industry service developing trends depends on information technology development. 2.2. Research Objectives
1) To identify different kinds of 3PLs services based on advanced information technology, and discuss how they work. 2) To analysis customer satisfaction with 3pl services, and explain how the increasing information technology can further satisfy customers’ needs. 3) To evaluate the current relationship between companies and 3PL providers, and discuss the future trends of 3PL services based on advanced information technology.
3. Review of Relevant Academic Literature
3.1. Selected academic literature
Regan, A.C. & Song, J., (2000), “An industry in transition: Third Party Logistics in the Information Age”, Transportation Research Board, 80th Annual Meeting, Washington DC. www.uctc.net/papers/634.pdf, Available at: 31st October, 2013. Sheikh, Z. & Rana, S. (2012), “Role of Third Party Logistics Providers with Advanced it to Increase Customer Satisfaction in Supply Chain Integration”, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, January 2012, Vol. 2, No. 1 Wang, Q., Lai, F. & Zhao, X., (2005), “Impacts of Information Technology on Competitive Advantages in Third- Party Logistics Firms”, Southwest Decision Science Institute, pp. 755-764. Ryding, D., (2010), “The impact of new technologies on customer satisfaction and business to business...
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